Rohingya refugees still fleeing from Myanmar to Bangladesh — UNHCR

Rohingya refugee children wait for food to be distributed at Tengkhali camp, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on December 7, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Rohingya refugees still fleeing from Myanmar to Bangladesh — UNHCR

DHAKA: Rohingya refugees continue to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh even though both countries set up a timetable last month to allow them to start to return home, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Thursday.
The number of refugees appears to have slowed. 625,000 have arrived since Aug. 25. 30,000 came last month and around 1,500 arrived last week, UNHCR said
“The refugee emergency in Bangladesh is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world,” said deputy high commissioner Kelly Clements. “Conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhaine state are not in place to enable a safe and sustainable return ... refugees are still fleeing.”
“Most have little or nothing to go back to. Their homes and villages have been destroyed. Deep divisions between communities remain unaddressed and human access is inadequate,” she said.
Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on Nov. 23 to start the return of Rohingya within two months. It did not say when the process would be complete.
Myanmar’s security forces may be guilty of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, according to the top UN human rights official this week. Mainly Buddhist Myanmar denies the Muslim Rohingya are its citizens and considers them foreigners.
UNHCR would make a fresh appeal to donors for funds after the end of February in next year, Kelly said.


After ‘nap-gate’, Duterte skips APEC summit dinner

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte attends the retreat session of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 35 min 53 sec ago
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After ‘nap-gate’, Duterte skips APEC summit dinner

  • In Port Moresby, Duterte met with Filipinos on Friday night where he sought to explain his absence from summit meetings

PORT MORESBY: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte passed on a gala dinner at a regional summit in Papua New Guinea, days after skipping key meetings in another gathering of world leaders for a “power nap.”
Duterte, who has a well-known disdain for stiff diplomatic gatherings, was a no-show Saturday night, sending his trade minister instead to pose with heads of state donning bright yellow and red Papua New Guinean shirts.
His office had initially announced that the mercurial leader was cutting short his trip to Port Moresby even before the main meetings began but on Sunday he did show up at the convention center.
“This after I loudly and naggingly insisted he stay just one day. ONE DAY, I stressed,” Philippine foreign minister Teodoro Locsin tweeted on Sunday.
The absence of the 73-year-old Duterte at diplomatic gatherings has sparked criticism and speculation of ill health, which his spokesman denied, saying the president merely lacked sleep.
Duterte has said previously that he suffers from daily migraines and ailments including Buerger’s disease, an illness that affects the veins and the arteries of the limbs, and is usually due to smoking.
On Wednesday, the Philippine leader missed four of the 11 meetings he was slated to attend and a gala dinner in Singapore, which hosted a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders.
Observers have compared him unfavorably with Malaysia’s 93-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has consistently attended summit meetings saying it was his “duty” to do so.
Commenting on his absence, Duterte said on Thursday: “What’s wrong with my nap?“
Asked about the Papua New Guinea dinner, a Philippine official told AFP Duterte “feels constrained by formalities and finds them unproductive and a slight waste of time.”
After hosting a regional meeting in the Philippines last year, an exhausted Duterte joked about canceling another Manila summit saying, “It’s true. It’s all the same. Nothing changes.”
In Port Moresby, Duterte met with Filipinos on Friday night where he sought to explain his absence from summit meetings.
He cited an invitation from Australia to have an “informal breakfast” in Singapore.
“I told my soldiers why would I attend when first of all, I do not eat breakfast. Second, it was informal,” Duterte said.
“What will they feed us there, kangaroo?“